Ph.D. Clinical Psychology with Major Area of Study in Trauma Psychology
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology with Major Area of Study in Trauma Psychology
Clinical Psychology, Ph.D.
Major Area of Study in Trauma Psychology
About the Program
The UCCS Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program with Major Area of Study in Trauma Psychology trains students according to the scientist-practitioner model in mental health diagnosis, assessment, and intervention for adults who have experienced traumas, and in basic and applied research on the psychological functioning of adults with a trauma history. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to work in a range of settings, including hospitals and VA settings, mental health clinics and clinical practices, other integrated care sites, colleges and universities, state offices, and research institutes.
The deadline for application to the Ph.D. program is November 15.
Focus of Study
Consistent with the definition of health service psychology in the Standards of Accreditation, the clinical psychology PhD program at UCCS seeks to accomplish two broad training goals and one track-specific training goal:
Goal 1: Students will acquire the requisite knowledge and skills to prepare them for entry into the practice of clinical psychology
- Objective 1-A: Demonstrate knowledge and skill in clinical assessment
- Objective 1-B: Demonstrate knowledge and skill in psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions
- Objective 1-C: Demonstrate knowledge of the ethics of clinical practice, including ethical practice with diverse populations
- Objective 1-D: Demonstrate knowledge of clinical supervision and consultation that is commensurate with level of training
Goal 2: Students will be capable of conducting, evaluating, and disseminating research
- Objective 2-A: Develop attitudes and skills essential for lifelong learning, scholarly inquiry
- Objective 2-B: Develop knowledge and skills to conduct empirical psychological research
- Objective 2-C: Develop knowledge and skills to disseminate research effectively to professional and lay audiences
Goal 3 (Trauma Psychology): Students will demonstrate competence in knowledge and skills of Trauma Psychology
- Objective 3-A Demonstrate knowledge and skills in professional practice consistent with competencies associated with graduate training within the New Haven Competencies for Trauma Psychology
- Objective 3-B: Demonstrate knowledge and skills needed to conduct empirical research in Trauma Psychology
In alignment with APA Standards of Accreditation, students are expected to demonstrate competence in the full breadth of Profession Wide Competencies including:
- Ethical and legal standards
- Individual and cultural diversity
- Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors
- Communications and interpersonal skills
- Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
Knowledge and skills in clinical psychology and basic scientific psychology are the foundations on which the trauma psychology focus is built. Students in this program are preparing to be clinical psychologists first and foremost, with a focus on trauma psychology as their curricular emphasis. Students entering this program are essentially agreeing to focus their work on trauma rather than sampling the variety of populations and problems that might form the elective offerings in another program.
This program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model of training in clinical psychology, commonly referred to as the Boulder model. Under this model, professional psychologists are trained to be both scientists and practitioners with the goal of enhancing the interplay between science and practice. In an emerging field, such as trauma psychology, it is of utmost importance that practitioners add to the existing knowledge base regarding application strategies that are effective, and that scientists be informed of applied issues in shaping their pursuit of knowledge.
The curriculum will require at least five years of post-baccalaureate work to accomplish requirements of the doctoral degree. Students complete 126 hours of required and elective courses, a comprehensive exam, a dissertation of original scholarship, clinical practica, and a clinical internship (off site). The clinical curriculum requires specific coursework, required for licensure and accreditation, and an off site internship year. Students who enter the program with a B.A. or B.S. degree will earn an M.A. en route to the doctoral degree through the mechanism of the existing M.A. program.
Timeline for program completion: Completion of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program from the B.A. or BS starting point will typically take 5 years of residence on campus with the 6th year allocated for internship (Students should expect this time frame as the general rule pending unusual exceptions).
Doctoral students are also advised that this program requires students to work year round (12 months) during most years in the program, due to clinical practicum obligations and research obligations that often require work through the summer months. Clinical and research work are continuous without regard to the semester structures and students are funded to participate year round.
This program values and promotes self-awareness as a significant component of training in clinical psychology. Students in this program engage in self-awareness exercises within their courses and practicum training. They are also strongly encouraged to engage in their own psychotherapy during their training.
Clinical Psychology with a Major Area of Focus in Trauma Psychology
Established in 2015, this scientist-practioner model program is designed to train students who have a particular interest in conducting research and working clinically with traumatized individuals in the the area of Clinical Psychology with a Major Area of Focus in Trauma Psychology. This area of study is based on the New Haven Competencies for Trauma Psychology.
The curriculum will typically take 5 years of residence on campus and a 6th year allocated for an internship. Students complete 120 hours minimum of required and elective courses, a Comprehensive Examination, a thesis and a dissertation of original scholarship, clinical practica, and a 12 month clinical internship (off-site). This number may be higher depending on your individual circumstances. The clinical curriculum is designed to meet Colorado requirements for licensure as well as American Psychological Association accreditation standards. Students who enter the program with a B.A. or B.S. degree will earn an M.A. en route to the doctoral degree through the mechanism of the existing clinical M.A. program.
Charles C. Benight, Ph.D., Professor, Executive Director of the Lyda Hill Institute of Human Resilience
Steven L. Bistricky, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Trauma Psychology
Heather Littleton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of Research Operations of the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience
Colin T. Mahoney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Trauma Psychology
Accreditation & Awards
2021 - UCCS Graduate School programs in latest U.S. News & World Report Rankings
#120 in the nation for best graduate Clinical Psychology program
#148 in the nation for best graduate Psychology program
The American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA) accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology, as well as predoctoral internship and postdoctoral residency training programs in accordance with published guidelines and procedures.
Since 2007, the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs has been an APA accredited program built on the Boulder Scientist/Practitioner Model.
Graduating from an APA-accredited program provides an educational and scientific foundation on which to build a career in psychology, providing evidence-based clinical service to the public.
Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
The Psychology Department fosters inclusion, equity, and diversity of all members of society.
Graduate Program FAQs
Graduate study has been a part of the UCCS Psychology Department since 1977. You'll learn from our faculty in an environment designed for learning, research and student success – smaller class sizes than our peer institutions and the ability to connect one-on-one with your professors and supervisors.
How to Apply
Graduate students are those who have already completed a Bachelor's Degree and are pursuing a Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Non-Degree program. We also accept applications for non-degree seeking graduate students who wish to take courses but aren't planning on completing a degree or certificate program at UCCS. International students interested in UCCS Graduate School programs should also use this application.